In times when there are so many negative stories about politicians it is worth highlighting and encouraging positive initiatives featuring our local MPs.
The Nature Recovery Network in Sheffield has recently produced invaluable information about our local natural environmental assets.
Such information is essential to ensure these assets, vital for the maintenance and growth of local tourism, the preservation of wildlife habitats for creatures such as badgers and the provision of our daily water and food resources, are properly protected from any threats to their integrity.
One Sheffield MP, Louise Hague (Sheffield Heeley), has highlighted the threat to protected areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest from unconventional oil and gas – known as fracking. She noted that one sixth of Yorkshire’s precious protected land (covering 206 square miles) lies in areas set aside for fracking, with 140 of Yorkshire’s SSSIs (nearly half) in fracking exploration zones.
It is therefore encouraging to witness other local MPs, particularly Angela Smith in the Penistone and Stocksbridge Constituency, promoting their Party policy on fracking in a way consistent with the excellent work on protecting native species and their habitats.
Associating with and supporting the work and aims of the Nature Recovery Network, which involves protecting our local environmental assets from an old outdated and environmentally damaging fossil fuel industry such as fracking, should receive the recognition it deserves.
This is an industry whose operations, despite being in the private rather than public sector, require massive public subsidy in the form of tax breaks and other direct and indirect public monies which take away investment in more economic and sustainable energy-generating technologies while making the CEO of one company the richest man in Britain.
Angela Smith is listed as a speaker at the Third UK Onshore Oil and Gas Summiton July 5 in Birmingham.
I hope she can remind the investors there that:
Solar and wind energy generation costs per Mwh have fallen below that of gas.
Chinese investments in new technology battery storage have drastically reduced the costs of energy storage.
It is time for them to act like proper capitalists rather than parasitic rent seekers by switching investment to more cost-efficient clean energy technologies before the UK is overtaken by other countries whose politicians have more foresight than to cater to the lobbying for taxpayers money of this special interest group.
Ralph Ellis Drive, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, S36